Friday, February 17, 2012

What genre do you dip in?


Last week on twitter I announced the fact I was playing in the genre pool. Still not wanting to decide what genre to write in I wanted to get others opinions. Was I the only one genre hopping? Were there closet hoppers? Who would stand with me and share their honesty.

Turns out, lots of people genre hop.

I adore writing chick lit, thrillers, and dystopian YA. Which one do I like more? The one I’m writing at that moment. They’re all my favorites, that’s what makes it so hard to choose.

When the rain hits my mind shy’s away from the romance and a killer character comes rushing out, after all, he does his best work in the rain.

When my life feels like it’s falling apart, the young sixteen year old pops up and decides she wants to take charge of her life and we try and tackle real life AND her life.

When spring hits and my hearts all a flutter, the characters who want to find love embrace me.

However, if you’re a genre hopper you want to make sure you’re still doing the proper research. Reading is a writer’s best tool. It’s the one thing (next to trash television) that we can tell our significant others is actual research BUT also something we LOVE to do. You must read the genre you’re trying to write. After all, if you’re trying to write the next Stephen King novel and the closest thing you’ve read is Sophie Kinsella’s books, your book would be about a shoe murder. Not interesting and not relevant to thriller readers.
Do you genre hop? How do you juggle them?

24 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

I don't genre hop from romance to thrillers, not that extreme, but I've tried to find what I have common in everything I tend to write. That helps for the future.

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

I think I'm just hopping between speculative fiction in general. Thankfully I don't think that's too big of an offense.

Rachael Johns said...

I DREAM about writing crime into my books but I haven't taken the jump yet! As for current diversity - I targeted category romance forever and am now writing single title, but it's all been contemporary so probably doesn't count :) Great post!

Talli Roland said...

Right now, I don't genre hop because I'm trying to establish my brand and readership. In the future... who knows?

Anne Gallagher said...

Women's fiction and Regency romance. Not too far from one another but enough to make me stretch.

Deana said...

I genre hop for sure! And in my head, I'm genre hopping like every hour or so. There are so many dang ideas out there and I love all types of books. Right now I am thinking about dipping my toes into contemporary, but then last night I got this haunted house/ghost story type of idea. The hard part is figuring out which one is tugging me the hardest.
Good luck picking yours Jen!

Angeline said...

I'm pretty set. I've always written fantasy, but have recently shifted slightly into horror.

Lots of widely published writers genre hop, often using different pen names for the different genres.

Rosalind Adam said...

When I first got published it was with a series of adult short stories. I loved writing them but then I got hooked on writing for children so it's not so much genre hopping as serial genres.

Meredith said...

I've been wavering between YA and new adult recently. And I vary between fantasy and contemporary. All the kinds of books I love to read, basically. :)

Indigo said...

Paranormal, suspense, horror - all in which the lines blend rather easily.

I've been told I have a knack for Romance but...*shrugs* I think everything ever written about life has some element of romance in it. I haven't seriously thought about stepping fully into that specific area. (Hugs)Indigo

Denise Moncrief said...

Hum... genre hopping. I don't hop much. I write either suspense or romantic suspense. Usually the latter. If I venture forth from my comfort zone, it's adding a dash of humor or a paranormal element to my stories. I've thought about historical fiction, even had the nugget of a idea for a plot line, but that takes so much blasted research and I'd rather read historical than write it. Lately, I've been interested in dystopian, so who knows....?

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I really want to dabble in some dystopianish stuff, but what I'm working on now is Contemporary Women's Lit. I think the key is to see if there is something in one genre you can add to another and fuse a couple together. Might be more satisfying.

Cynthia J. McGean said...

Hi, my name is Cindy and I'm a genre hopper. Although, it's more like a discovered I was writing horror without realizing I'd done it, if that even makes sense.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I might change genres one day, but for now my goal is just to finish what I started.

Jennie Bailey said...

I genre hop within YA. My first book was an Urban Fantasy, now I'm finishing edits on a Dystopian and my next idea is high fantasy (for this year's NaNo!). I focus on one until it's done and then I move on to another genre if that's where the next idea takes me. And I read, read, read - everything I can get my hands on. Because who doesn't love to disappear into the pages of a good book?

Arlee Bird said...

You would bring up juggling. When it comes to reading I tend to change things up frequently. I rarely go from a book of one genre to another in the same. As far as writing, less hopping but I tend to slide off into different directions now. That's why I enjoy blogging so much--short hops into the realms of the experimental.


Lee
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Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I write for young children....4-11 is my range I think. I've written several picture book manuscripts, chapter book manuscripts and am now working on my first mg novel. I have the beginnings of a YA written, but the mg keep calling me back, so that is where my heart is right now. (That and the pb Lenny and I are working on.)

Clara said...

I totally genre hop! Romance, then horror, then YA fantasy...it's fun! And yes, we must always read, as Mr. King himself once said : )

Clarissa Draper said...

I genre hop. I think it really hones the writing skills when we write various other works. I've written mysteries and love stories and short stories. All have taught me things about writing.

Jai Joshi said...

I write in all kinds of genres. I've written historical fic, suspense, fantasy, epic, and my latest is horror. I love it because it allows me to test myself and learn new things.

Jai

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

I don't genre hop but I do mix elements of other genres in to my stories.I think it broadens them out and makes them more interesting??

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

I am EXTREMELY picky about what I read, but I do like variety. Historical Fiction is a passion of mine, but I have particular interests, mainly European history, and mainly 15th and 16th century. I also like a great chick-lit read, Sophie Kinsella is queen of that genre. I like supernatural/paranormal also, but I find that it's waaaaay overdone. I also like a good YA novel, where boy meets girl, where boy and/or girl embarks on a personal journey, etc. And then there's the odd trashy thriller, a la Pretty Little Liars.

Of course as I read, my writing follows. With the exception of historical fiction ... I have some ideas, but they require a ton of research.

Candy Lynn Fite said...

Lol, Jen! I haven't checked in for a while here, sorry!! Hope things are going well for you!

Genre hopping, oh boy, do I ever. I read King and Kinsella. A shoe murderer, funny. Actually, some of my favorite reads are humorous mysteries or paranormals. Of course, many mystery lovers would probably argue with me, but the Stephanie Plum series is a good example of one of my favorite humor / romance / mystery series. In reading J.E.'s series, I've laughed until I've cried, been quite moved by some hot scenes (Ranger fan myself) and the mystery element always keeps me on my toes, thinking whodunit.

Cute post!! Sorry to have missed it on Twitter. Have been consumed and overwhelmed medically lately. Good to visit you this morning!!!

Leslie Rose said...

I always start from a fairy tale feeling base and then lean a bit into sci fi. Doin' the wave for the advice on reading. I DO genre hop there and it is always eye-opening.